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Dangerous drivers thread

This topic contains 367 replies, has 63 voices, and was last updated by  Vannevar 3 days, 8 hrs.

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WillB

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Nov 22 2013 at 9:30am #

The idea that a quick glance down or over to a mirror is less safe than fully turning your head seems weird to me. Just like when I’m driving, I like to be as fully aware of my surroundings as possible, and a mirror adds to that. Do all the anti-mirror folks think that cars shouldn’t have mirrors either? If not, what’s the difference?


jonawebb

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Nov 22 2013 at 10:10am #

@Ahlir, there’s another high-tech solution, involving a 50 KW magnetron tube and a bunch of charged capacitors, that I think about in situations like this.


Marko82

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Nov 22 2013 at 11:08am #

@Ahlir, there’s this:

Cerevellum Bicycle Computer – GPS, heart rate monitor and digital rear view mirror in one


byogman

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Nov 22 2013 at 12:48pm #

Had a mirror on the bar. Found I couldn’t use it effectively both sitting (most of the time) and standing (smaller fraction of the time, but often when I most wanted to see behind me), and where I do ride sidewalk/trail sometimes the added width was an annoyance. When it broke I didn’t shed any tears. It was useful in reducing the fear of getting hit from behind. It helps to see how much of the roadway is empty, and how early most motorists change lanes.

Had one on the helmet, but found that to reflect back what I wanted required a head adjustment, and the fact that the mirror was adjustable was a problem because it didn’t really stay in one place and the amount of head adjustment required varied and so I wound up not using it much, and when it “adjusted” off the helmet and disappeared entirely I was annoyed, but honestly hadn’t been using it much, esp since I had zero trust in it to relate depth and it had some vibration issues (cars had circular headlights… spooky).

It did save me some look behinds in the negative sense (I never trusted it entirely, but seeing a car coming up wouldn’t have to look behind me to know not to merge then), and that did feel a little safer given my klutziness. I wouldn’t necessarily mind having one again. The eyeglass mirror is a potentially nice one, too. But now, knowing what the solution has to be, I’m spoiled on the idea. Virtual eye in the back of the head FTW.


Mikhail

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Nov 22 2013 at 1:55pm #

WillB wrote: Do all the anti-mirror folks think that cars shouldn’t have mirrors either? If not, what’s the difference?

For me it’s position of a decent mirror. I tried small one on helmet/glasses and it requires to shift eyes (I cannot move just one), refocus, shutdown the second eye so picture in front of it does not disturb small image (I learned to do it while shooting from the rifle with both eyes opened), estimate, shift eyes back and refocus again. It’s a little bit less than a second for me in a simple conditions and a little bit over in more complex ones. In addition small helmet mirror does not show much and I had to turn head a little bit to observe fully whatever behind me (in this case it was close to 3 seconds). Turning head is approximately the same in terms of time but I use two eyes with no refocusing. And side mirror on a drop bar just requires head movement, refocusing and has huge blind zone (may be it just me).

I scan mirrors in my car about every 15-20 seconds but use my head if I need to change a lane or turn even I have parabolic mirrors on my side mirrors. But when situation is real complex I noticed that I scan mirrors only when situation allows me to do it safely. Let say in Chicago in 6 lane freeway and speed about 70 and traffic bumper-to-bumper I pay much more attention to front and sides and reduce scanning rate.

I think I would use system that works like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collimator — I like how it’s done on Toyota Prius for equipment panel and on jets/Formula 1 as HUD — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head-up_display.


J Z

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Nov 26 2013 at 9:10am #

Be advised, this morning the operator of Port Authority bus 5656, route 51 Carrick, was raging downtown. Already filed an online complaint.


ericf

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Nov 26 2013 at 9:32am #

To each his own. I personally find the rearward glance more instinctive than trying to focus on a mirror. The actual movement is very similar to how you protect your head in a fight; tilt down and to the side, giving the aggressor the hard crown of your skull to contend with. Same move (to the left, obviously) and I can easily see what is behind me.


FaunaViolet

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Nov 26 2013 at 2:17pm #

Mirror or not. I almost got clobbered by a guy pulling out of a space and into the bike lane I was in on Liberty this morning.

Then he proceeded to yell at *me* and said, ” Do you know how many of you people run red lights around here?”

As if because someone I don’t know ran a red light once, my life is not of importance.

Note: I was sitting at the light because it was red as he was yelling this.

People are dumb. Be careful out there.


Steven

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Nov 26 2013 at 2:36pm #

Maybe he was trying to say that he expected you to run the red light and not be where he was pulling out, but you flagrantly violated his prejudice.


emma

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Nov 30 2013 at 12:34pm #

We just had a cruddy encounter on Friendship, on the block between Penn and Howley, heading toward the park. Little silver car tries to pass us to get to the red light first, leaving about a foot between his car and Q. Stops at the red light, starts shouting, gets out of his car and yells “Next time I’ll run you over!”

I started (quietly) saying his license plate number out loud to make sure I would remember it, and he said “YEAH THAT’S RIGHT, GO AHEAD AND CALL THE COPS.”

At this point, I just said “you got the green light, buddy” and he got in his car and drove off.

We did call the cops, but for all y’all out there:

White guy, 45-50 years old, around 5’8″, 280-300lbs, bald, sunglasses. Small silver car, not sure what kind, but the plate was MJK-77.

Be safe.


ericf

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Nov 30 2013 at 4:03pm #

@emma,
Sorry to hear this, it sucks. Unfortunately, in Pittsburgh, in that age bracket (my age bracket- i grew up with these jagoffs!), you will get a lot of this crap. You did the right thing, just ride away as quietly and unobtrusively as possible. Helmet cam?


Pierce

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Nov 30 2013 at 5:57pm #

@WillB

I was thinking a similar thing; if my driver’s education (and memory) are correct, both looking in the mirror and a sideways glance to check your blind spot are required for a safe lane change


Ahlir

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Nov 30 2013 at 7:16pm #

This was a short while ago (and I’m, like, just waiting around for dinner to finish cooking) but on Murray, in Greenfield, I was crossing an intersection (ok, to the right of a bus that had just stopped). A guy in a pickup, coming up from the left street (after I’m in the intersection), turn left along my direction and pulls up to me, opens the passenger window and yells “I could have killed you!! What do you think about that!”. I reply “Yeah, and you would’da got arrested” and keep on riding.

In retrospect, I figured that I should have said something like “Hey, did your boss chew you out today?”, or ” What’s a’ matter? You girlfriend just dump you?”
But I think I said the right thing in the moment. Such is life.


ericf

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Dec 2 2013 at 7:04am #

Ahlir wrote:This was a short while ago (and I’m, like, just waiting around for dinner to finish cooking) but on Murray, in Greenfield, I was crossing an intersection (ok, to the right of a bus that had just stopped). A guy in a pickup, coming up from the left street (after I’m in the intersection), turn left along my direction and pulls up to me, opens the passenger window and yells “I could have killed you!! What do you think about that!”. I reply “Yeah, and you would’da got arrested” and keep on riding.

In retrospect, I figured that I should have said something like “Hey, did your boss chew you out today?”, or ” What’s a’ matter? You girlfriend just dump you?”
But I think I said the right thing in the moment. Such is life.

What goes through some people’s minds escapes me. Obviously an idiot, this guy thinks he is the only one who understands the basic laws of physics. Of course his multi-thousand pound vehicle will crush you. Like a bug. Thankfully this guy was functional enough not to do that.
I have been trying to avoid just this kind of confrontation, usually by keeping my mouth shut and getting away as soon as possible. The reality is that this guy’s GF might have just dumped him, because he has been robbing people to support his oxy habit. You just don’t know.Too many guns out there for me to risk it.


wassat

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Dec 2 2013 at 10:59am #

i had a hilarious experience recently where someone passed way close, but after i passed them, their retaliatory buzz was actually not as close.
there’s some hope for that moron, at least some part of their brain knows it’s dangerous.


jonawebb

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Dec 4 2013 at 3:52pm #

BTW, one thing I discovered when converting this to the Wiki is that one guy has been reported twice — Burnt-orange Chevy Cobalt LS, license GFB2553. This is not a guy who is just getting annoyed, he really has a hatred for cyclists.


byogman

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Dec 4 2013 at 4:48pm #

Pretty sure I’ve dealt with this guy, too!

I didn’t get the full license plate at the time and remember less of it now (though GFB is certainly right).

On Forbes heading west approaching Beachwood Blvd. It was spring, I don’t even remember the month.

A couple pointless honks and one lay on the horn, while I was putting in a solid effort in the only through lane available followed by blatantly illegal use of of a right turn only lane lane to pass when going straight.

Fortunately this was far enough back from the intersection that clearances ok. Reading this, I guess he wouldn’t have cared much if they weren’t though…


catpgh

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Dec 6 2013 at 9:51am #

I know this is a few months late, but as I was biking back from Mt. Washington after volunteering with bikepgh at one of the refreshment stations (that would have been August 25th at around 3 maybe) I was rolling down West Carson and the next thing I know, someone is holding me up from behind to get me out of the pool of my own blood. Based on the damaged to the bike. It looks like I got side swiped and knocked to my right. I landed just at the edge of my helmet, but I skidded from my forehead, all the way down my face, hit my shoulder and dislocated it along with taking all the skin off of it and continued to slide down my arm tearing off skin until my hip and right leg landed leaving only nasty buises. I was taken to Mercy where I got approximately 80 stitches to put my forehead and upper and lower lip back together after my teeth went through both. The ER didn’t catch it, but I later found out I had a massive concussion and am still having massive headaches and migraines as well as extreme memory loss and confusion and fogginess. There was a police officer at the scene asking me questions which I couldn’t answer since my lips were in threads, but I never heard anything else from him. The ambulance took me in as a level one trauma since I had LOC.

Anyway, the point of this is to give as much info as possible to see if anyone saw anything that might help find the person who knocked me over. I’m scarred for life, and I’d just like to know why.


salty

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Dec 6 2013 at 10:29am #

wow, that is truly awful; I had not heard about that until now. so, I gather it was a hit and run and none of the witnesses got the plate?

Best of luck with your recovery, I know there are other people here who have had concussions and it’s really frightening how long the symptoms last.


Marko82

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Dec 6 2013 at 10:52am #

@catpgh – Wow how awful. You might want to call the police and ask for any updates they may have on the case, but I’m sure this will be infuriating since they probably did very little in the way of investigating this at the time. And since so much time has past since the crash you are unlikely to be able to get security camera footage, etc. from nearby businesses at this point.

My best wishes on your recovery.


RustyRed

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Dec 6 2013 at 11:14am #

Oh my, my thoughts go out to you and hope for a full recovery.


Vannevar

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Dec 6 2013 at 11:44am #

deleted


stefb

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Dec 6 2013 at 5:18pm #

Holy shit. So sorry. :(.
Please update us if you get any info.


Mikhail

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Dec 12 2013 at 8:03am #

New mirrors — http://www.rearviz.com/advantages.php


RustyRed

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Dec 30 2013 at 9:26am #

This jagoff nearly plowed into me on the TRAIL under the WE bridge within the past hour. I hit the brakes scooted over to the side of the trail because he was NOT stopping for me and coming at me a good clip. At first, I thought they were undercover police as I see them back there frequently whenever someone throws ‘evidence’ off the bridge after a suspect has given chase.

In the video he’s forced to turn around and WAIT behind me because I got in the middle of the trail and wouldn’t let him pass until we got to the Cardello building parking lot.


paulheckbert

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Jan 3 2014 at 8:57pm #

@RustyRed: I forwarded your story & video to Jeffrey McCauley, Stewardship Coordinator for Friends of the Riverfront (I’m a trail steward with them for the Duck Hollow Trail) and he said he’d look into it. The next time you see a problem like this on one of the FOR trails, you might want to contact Jeffrey directly, in addition to posting here.


paulheckbert

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Jan 12 2014 at 9:26pm #

Pittsburgh police hope to resume use of helmet video cameras.

http://communityvoices.post-gazette.com/news/ipso-facto/item/37644-the-cautionary-instruction-pittsburgh-police-may-soon-be-zooming-in-on-you

The article says “officers wore the cameras for six months beginning in September 2012, before realizing the cameras violated the state’s wire-tap act. The department took them off the streets.” but new legislation has proposed “an amendment to the Wiretap Act to permit recording devices on police motorcycles, bicycles, horses and uniforms”, extending the current law, which authorizes police to use video cameras on dashboards, only.


Mikhail

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Jan 12 2014 at 10:00pm #

I thought that motorcycles, bicycles are vehicles. So cameras mounted on those should be permitted.


Steven

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Jan 12 2014 at 11:25pm #

I think cameras alone would be fine, but recording audio is treated differently. PA is one of 12 states where all parties to a conversation normally must give prior consent to its recording. There’s an exception for police (Title 18 Section 5704 item 16) , as long as they’re clearly identified as police, they eventually say that they’re recording, they’re near the people they’re recording, and they’re operating an approved device “the recorder of which is mounted in the law enforcement officer’s vehicle”. I’m guessing it’s the last bit that’s the problem. Helmet cameras probably don’t send the signal back to the car before recording it.

I don’t know of any similar restrictions on recording video in public, but I’m not a lawyer.

The recording restriction doesn’t apply if the parties have no reasonable expectation of privacy. That’s so vague I can’t tell if it would apply to police recording their activities. But I’m guessing the police think there might be an expectation of privacy in the conversations they record.

Perhaps that also means a cyclist using a helmet camera with audio is violating PA law unless he gets the angry motorist to agree to be recorded prior to turning it on.


RustyRed

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Jan 13 2014 at 10:30am #

Seriously, stop taking cellphone pics of people on bikes while your car is in motion!


atown

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Jan 13 2014 at 11:47am #

Steven wrote:Perhaps that also means a cyclist using a helmet camera with audio is violating PA law unless he gets the angry motorist to agree to be recorded prior to turning it on.

Not if it’s in public


Steven

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Jan 13 2014 at 1:11pm #

Well, the law doesn’t say anything about “in public”, only “reasonable expectation of privacy”. Is there a reasonable expectation of privacy when you have a shouting match with a motorist? Maybe not. How about when the two of you calmly and quietly discuss who caused the accident, and exchange insurance info? That seems like any other private conversation, where you expect you’re not being overheard even if it’s taking place in public. And the police seem to think that at least sometimes when they talk to people in public, there’s a reasonable expectation of privacy (hence the need for a change in the law).


atown

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Jan 13 2014 at 1:50pm #

The law doesn’t define reasonable expectation of privacy further, but courts have.


Steven

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Jan 13 2014 at 3:42pm #

Then if it’s legal, as you imply, for a cyclist to record audio and video with a helmet cam, why do you suppose the police think it’s illegal under the Wiretap Act for them to do the same?


atown

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Jan 13 2014 at 3:49pm #

Police are government actors and subject to 4th Amendment restrictions.


Steven

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Jan 13 2014 at 11:11pm #

But would amending the Wiretap Act (their proposed solution) get around those 4th Amendment restrictions? If the US Constitution can’t be overridden by PA law, how can the 4th Amendment be the issue here?

We know they’re planning to fix it, whatever the issue is, by amending the Wiretap Act. It stands to reason they think there’s something in the Wiretap Act that’s keeping police from using helmet cams now, no?


atown

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Jan 14 2014 at 11:45am #

“But would amending the Wiretap Act (their proposed solution) get around those 4th Amendment restrictions? ”

I don’t know what the Wiretap Act says, so I can’t answer that, but presumably legislators will try.

“If the US Constitution can’t be overridden by PA law, how can the 4th Amendment be the issue here?”

If a PA law conflicts with the US Constitution, then it could be challenged and struck down. The issue is exactly that the Constitution can’t be overridden by PA law. Presumably, legislators are worried that as the law stands now, it could be stricken down in the future and they are re-drafting to attempt to avoid that.


paulheckbert

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Jan 14 2014 at 11:09pm #

About police helmet cams, PoliceOne.com says

http://www.policeone.com/police-products/body-cameras/articles/6721466-More-agencies-to-implement-body-cameras/

In Maryland, “The camera is always on, but does not save anything until Waddell pushes the button. He activates the device when he enters a private residence but must ask for permission to continue recording. At the end of his shift, he dumps the camera at the roll call room in headquarters and the data is uploaded to cloud storage maintained by Evidence.com, a service offered through Taser.

Waddell can review the footage he captures throughout the day, either at a computer at headquarters or through a smartphone application. But he can’t delete or edit it. The officer can flag a video if he thinks it might be needed as evidence or if he feels a complaint might arise from the incident. All video is stored for at least 181 days, and longer if it’s flagged.

He can only review footage from the camera issued to him, but his supervisor can look at his videos and those of other officers.”


czarofpittsburgh

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Jan 18 2014 at 12:36am #

andyc wrote:PA / JBK5538

Overlook drive by the oval heading towards Greenfield Rd. (Schenley Park)

Driver honks a few times then passes me with inches to spare. (The opposing lane was empty.)

I filed a police report as that was not just badly behaved traffic but was assault.

I just had a similar encounter with this exact driver! It was also in Schenley Park–this time on Panther Hollow Road. It was basically the same behavior. The driver was following behind me honking. I was able to get a very good look at his facethen. Then he passed me VERY close. I would say within a foot or so. Definitely close and slow enough that I could get another good glimpse of his face.

I wear a helmet camera and the relevant footage is below. There is some bad language. Also, to the cyclist on the sidewalk, if you read this: message me! Another witness would be helpful.

I also filed a police report with an unbelievably helpful officer who took the issue seriously. I am hopeful that something will come of it.


czarofpittsburgh

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Jan 18 2014 at 12:47am #

Also, posting that video made me realize that I had not posted one from this previous summer in nearly the same spot. PA plate HBH 3955. This pass was a bit farther away but much faster. I also filed a police report, but I don’t know if anything happened there.

In this case, there was a huge amount of traffic in Oakland, so we ended up in traffic next to each other! We had some highly unpleasant words. Long story short, the guy concern-trolled me with a bunch of “Buddy, someone is gonna kill you on the roads. I’m watching out for YOU by honking. I’m trying to show you that you need to be safe out there”

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